ChelsChats: 2020 Life Update
Hello? Is thing still working? Do I even know how to type? When did WordPress change to look like this on the back end? How do I put photos into this post? How long has it actually been since I’ve written on here?
A while, that’s for sure. Back in my hey-day of blogging, I would apologize profusely for missing a blog post in a day (I can’t believe there was a time when I actually wrote 5 posts a week) but I’ve come to the realization that there probably isn’t anyone paying attention to the fact that I haven’t written a post in months. And that’s totally fine – 2020 has kind of turned our worlds upside down.
If I’m being honest, I don’t even know how to blog anymore. The thought of sitting down to review a new foundation or talk about clothing seems…insensitive and tone-deaf with the state of the country and the world. But I do know that I’ve been feeling the pull to come back to this space, and the nudge to start sharing here again. My gut tells me that I need to start writing again, and I’ve learned this year that gut feelings are guardian angels. My gut has never steered me wrong.
And so here I am, on Wednesday afternoon, trying to block out headlines that are giving me some serious anxiety and figure out what to share here. It’s been a hot second since I’ve written, so I guess I’ll just give anyone who’s interested a brief overview of how the year has been for me (personally. I’m sure you know how the year has been for the world.)
January – While we were optimistic about the new year, it definitely started off with a pretty serious event. We had recently discovered at the end of 2019 that I had a fibroid in my uterus that was taking up about 95% of my uterine cavity. It was wreaking havoc on my body and on the 9th, I underwent a surgery to have it removed. The surgery was successful and even though the recovery was grueling, we escaped to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico at the end of the month to celebrate getting through it. Mexico was amazing. I had every intention of writing a post all about it (and maybe I will someday) but since travel is next to impossible right now, it seems pointless
February – We went back to our fertility clinic for more tests and got the great news that I was healing well from my surgery and that we were on track to start fertility treatments in the next month.
March – Well, as you are all aware, the world went crazy about halfway through the month. Within the span of a few days, we went from planning our fertility treatments and celebrating my 30th birthday in Las Vegas, to hunkering down and not knowing if we would even be able to see my siblings for my birthday (spoiler alert – we didn’t.) My 30th birthday was celebrated in a totally different way than we planned, but Dustin took me out for an adventure in the Jeep, helped me paint my office, and we ate some of my favorite food!
April – Dustin and I celebrated 7 beautiful years of marriage, with another day out in the Jeep (because that was pretty much all we could do during that time.) We had to close our store fronts down for MSC and do everything online, so I had to get really creative for work to do my part to help our business stay afloat. We got through it, but it was pretty stressful and touch & go at times.
May – We bought a pop-up camper – one of the first of many quarantine projects. Since it was looking like all of our summer plans were going to be put on the back burner, thanks to the pandemic, we decided we wanted to camp as much as possible. I grew up with a little pop-up camper and randomly got it in my head that we should buy one and renovate it. Bare in mind, I am NOT a DIY-er, but once I get sucked into a project, I don’t stop until it’s done. We looked at pop-up campers over a weekend and they kept getting sold within hours of being posted (I guess we weren’t the only ones making alternate plans for the summer) and we finally snagged a cute 1993 Coleman pop-up that was structurally sound. It’s interior was VERY 90’s, so we spent two weeks completely renovating it on the inside – new fabrics, curtains, flooring, countertops, hardware, etc. I do plan on putting together a post when I get a hot second because so many of you were invested in the project with me and were talking about doing something similar! It was a super fun project and although we only used it twice this year, we’re going to get it out at least one more time before winter hits.
June – Dustin took me for a belated birthday trip to Moab with our Jeep. It was just the two of us and he let me wheel 95% of the trails we ran. It was so much fun, the Jeep performed amazing and I improved my wheeling skills X100. I’m way more confident in the driver’s seat and we saw some of the most beautiful views Moab has to offer!
July – This month turned out to be a whirlwind for us and it’s still kind of a blur. My sister had her baby at the beginning of the month, which meant my parents were here for two weeks to help her and visit with all of us. A few days before they left, we had some of Dustin’s family come to visit as well. And, in the middle of all the business, Dustin and I experienced another miscarriage. It was pretty devastating and hard to go through, but we are trusting that everything happens for a reason and doing our best to have faith that we will someday get Baby Carr here.
August – We made sure to dial back our lives during August after a crazy and draining July in terms of being busy, but that didn’t stop us from making some HUGE purchases/life decisions! First, I finally pulled the trigger and bought my own little Jeep: a 1999 Wrangler, named Gem. She’s amazing and I love her, and we spent the first two weeks of August doing a ton of maintenance work and suspension upgrades!
At the end of August, we celebrated Dustin’s birthday with our biggest purchase of the year (and possibly our lives) yet: we decided to build a house! We put a deposit down on our lot, picked out a floor plan, and designed our interior all within a week. Our plan is to turn our current townhome into a rental, move into our new house, and finish out the basement to be a second rental. It’s been Dustin’s dream to own rental properties and he’s worked so hard to make this happen for us. I’m excited for a bigger kitchen and a beautiful front porch to decorate!
September – We were going to start fertility treatments this month, but I was diagnosed with a viral rash that fully needs to clear my body, so we’ve been postponed by at least another month. But, to be honest, it’s not as devastating as it felt at the beginning of the year. We can’t wait to have a baby heading our way, but we’ve made major strides in the last few months to stop waiting around for our lives to happen, and to make things happen for us in the meantime. We also squeezed in not one, but two more Moab trips between September and October (and I got to bring MY Jeep on our October trip) which really and truly helped us both heal.
October – Last month. The month we finally, finally got to start an infertility treatment. There was a lot of anxiety around starting an IUI cycle, especially because our fertility clinic would not let Dustin come into any of the appointments with me (which is hard for me and my PTSD.) However, I was really excited to finally get started and convinced that the hard part of starting fertility treatments was behind us. In true 2020 fashion, however, after going through the first round of medication (which made me dizzy and so, so sad) and getting to my follow-up test, we had to make the heartbreaking decision to cancel the cycle because of how my body responded to the medication. It put me at risk for some complications that we weren’t willing to chance – but was still so, so devastating to go through. I’m not ready to talk about any of the details yet – but it took me a little bit to come out of the fog of the heartbreak and the haze of the medication.
November – So now we’re here, in November. I’m feeling a bit more grounded after last month and even a bit hopeful for what’s to come. I made the decision to sign up for a life coach to help me find some balance and structure in my life and to help me change my mindset that “bad things happen to me.” Even though we just barely started the program, I’m feeling hopeful that I can make these mindset changes and learn how to trust that the universe has good things in store for me. To be honest – it’s pretty exhausting to live in such a fear-based and distrustful mindset all the time and I would really like to make some changes.
And in other news, we’re all hanging on for dear life at work as we get ready to ride out the holiday season. This year has been ROUGH on the small family-run business I work for and we’re really hoping and praying for people to remember to shop small during the holiday season. If you’re looking for a small business to support, here’s my shameless plug for My Sister’s Closet Boutique!
Whew. Well, that brings us to today. Hopefully, that gives anyone who’s curious about our life/infertility journey/coping strategies a bit of insight into how this year has gone for us. We’re not giving up on starting our family and even though last month was incredibly rough for us, we’re still grateful for all the beautiful things that life does offer us: our marriage, our home, our pups, our jobs, our health, and our Jeeps.
Here’s to 2020, and all of the madness and lessons and heartache and growth it’s handed to me. It’s been sucky, but I am grateful.